Be prepared to pay more for your Christmas tree this year, thanks to a new "Christmas tree tax" imposed by the government. What evil anti-Christmas tree Grinch is behind this? The Christmas tree industry! You see, the revenues raised from the tax will go to fund a federal program promoting natural Christmas trees, similarly to the federally funded “Got Milk" and "Beef. It's what for dinner" campaigns. The federal government and industries call it a fee, but as Rich Tucker at Breitbart points out, this is a distinction without a difference.
Mr. Tucker provides some more interesting facts about the new Christmas tree tax (sorry, I mean "fee"):
This new tax that’s not a tax was imposed as part of the 2014 Farm Bill. It was first announced in November of 2011, but was put on hold after an Internet firestorm erupted in opposition to it.
There seems to be a legitimate problem here. Growers are worried because sales are dropping. The WSJ reports that real tree sales “declined by 6% from 1965 to 2008, while the market share for artificial trees increased by 655% in that same period.”
But only the federal government could think it can sell more of a product by making it more expensive.
Christmas season is already upon us. Satellite radio is delivering round-the-clock Christmas music, and people are lining up for Black Friday sales: two women in Beaumont, California have been camping out since Nov. 7. Lower prices for gasoline should give Americans more money to spend on gifts. Or more expensive trees.
Update: Looks like the government will hold off on the tax (whoops, did it again, "fee") - for now.